Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sharing the Fire - Campfires, candles, fireworks

Toast with strawberry jam and more familiar faces in the morning cavalcade of colors and voices - what a perfect way to start the second day of the conference! And we had a lovely keynote teller to go with it: Susan Klein. "Storytelling is not for sissies" she said, and we all agreed; the elegant and sassy lady on the stage told us to behave ourselves because we are special, and that's always a good thing to hear. Her wit and humor and wisdom kicked off the first day of workshops and fun...
Did you realize how troublesome it is to choose one and only one workshop from all the amazing topics that are at the same time? Seriously, I spent half of my morning pondering about it.
Finally I ended up in Diane Edgecomb's workshop about Kurdish tales - and it turned out to be the best choice of the morning... The lady with the long braid and the long skirt told us about her amazing adventures and work with Kurdish storytellers, and how her book came to be (and yes I bought the book and it's worth every penny) (penny? I'm still not used to American coins...) She is doing an incredible job with the collecting and publishing and she is just that original kind of wandering storyteller who goes to the other side of the globe to rescue the stories she loves... cheers to her!
For the second round of workshops, I picked Ann Shapiro's workshop of storytelling and literacy, hoping that I'll learn some effective answers to The Question (I know, 42) (nah, not that question): Why hire storytellers in schools? I just see it coming, once I go back home, I'll really need all the training I can get... and Ann is a wonderful teacher. We played some games and we learned some answers, and I had much more confidence about telling in the classroom than before the workshop... yay!
Last round of the day, and I was pondering again - finally my vote went for Rabbi Rachmiel Tobesman (the third good choice of the day - not that I think that any other choices would have been less good...) and his Tales to touch the spirit... And they did. Listening to him telling those amazing stories and talking about how it does not matter what your religion is as long as you can find a message in them that touches your soul - I was thinking all the time "yessss, this is what religion should be about for everyone." He was wise and funny and entertaining, and I spent the whole 90 minutes going "True. Yes. Exactly. Wow."
And so ended the series of workshops for Saturday - and so began the Saturday night OLIO...

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